Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I was kid. I read most of the Extended Universe books, and have been eyeing the new materials suspiciously.
Having seen Rogue One, I was fascinated about reading Catalyst, and wanted to discover how Galen Erso ended up creating the most destructive weapon of the Empire while building into it a flaw that could be exploited.
The story takes place with Jyn’s birth, during the Clone Wars. Watching how everything quickly changed from the Republic to the Empire, and all the elements around it, was an interesting insight into society as a whole. Weaving all this in through the Erso’s own stories, showcased how much someone can be blinded by what’s around them as long as they themselves were okay.
Galen Erso is neither a hero, nor a villain. He’s a scientist who forgets the world around him. He doesn’t see the implications in what he’s doing, or the consequences of it until it hits him in the face. He is the epitome of ‘seeing if I can do it, never asking if I should do it’. There are even moments where Lyra, as his wife, is the voice of his conscience, but she too is naive to things around her, until she’s confronted head on with what the Empire is truly doing and what they want from her husband.
Krennic’s manipulation through the story is well crafted, and despite the reader knowing he’s the ‘bad guy’ you can’t help but feel he’s the only one who is actually honest about what he is doing.
If you enjoyed Rogue One the movie, you will enjoy this story as it brings past history and depth to characters that the film missed. So when you rewatch Rogue One, the opening takes on a whole new meaning, and that is exactly how movies and books in a Universe should work.